Low hanging fruit? The list of corporate jargon that gets thrown around is endless. These include all the phrases we love to hate, such as – circle back, giving a 110%, moving the goalposts, gaining traction, and so on. We are going to look at another of these overused phrases.
You have just started a new job. The honeymoon period is over, and it is time to hit the ground running. So, what do you do now? Well, it is time to aim for the low-hanging fruit. Frustrated at the cliché? Do not worry; that is precisely what we will take a stab at explaining in this piece. So, let us dive in
What Does Low-Hanging Fruit Mean?
Literally speaking, low-hanging fruit is the fruit that is found on the lower branches of a tree. This means that this fruit is within reach. Hence it is easier to grab. However, in business, the phrase low hanging fruit refers to tasks that are easy to accomplish and yield immediate results.
When to Look For Low Hanging Fruit in Business?
Completing easy tasks at work makes a person feel good about himself. The same can be said about pursuing accessible opportunities in business. So it is necessary to balance the easy tasks with the difficult ones as this will lead to a true sense of accomplishment. Also, they will provide the much-needed momentum to power forward.
How is this similar to picking fruit on a tree? When you go about this task, it is incredibly tempting to gather all the fruit from the bottom of the tree. However, this will result in all the difficult-to-reach apples being left for later.
Instead, it would help if you optimize your efforts. For this, you have to devise a strategy where you pick apples from different sections of the tree without exhausting yourself. We shall look at situations where it is helpful to pursue low-hanging fruit in a business.
Understanding best practices.
When you are the new kid on the block, there is nothing like some low-hanging fruit to help you learn. Early successes in a safe environment are ideal as they inspire you to grow. Even if you make mistakes, there are high chances that it would not affect the business adversely.
Also, you will have an idea of the things that can go wrong. Starting with simple tasks helps you understand the basic principles of a business and the setup of an organization. This will definitely help you make your way up the corporate ladder.
Testing new methods.
When implementing a new strategy, you are better off testing the waters first. This can only happen in a situation where the stakes are low.
For instance, if you have released a new product or entered a new market, the best approach is to conduct a pilot launch. This will help you incorporate the feedback into the process. Also, you can rework and delay the actual launch of the product.
Making your presence felt.
Let us imagine a situation where you have to achieve some targets, such as building a customer base or a following on social media.
One resort is to pick off all the low hanging fruit. This works well rather than taking up some fancy initiative, as some of the more complex objectives of the firm would require a greater investment of time, effort, and budget.
Opportunity for future growth.
Any good work that is done never goes waste. Completing simple tasks properly can help you get in the good books of your manager. Once he sees that you have the potential, he will assign you more responsibility that will help you grow in your career.
Maybe you worked with your manager for a short period on some non-strategic tasks. However, your work ethic might have impressed him. So, there is a chance that he can refer you to better opportunities in the future.
Making the most of opportunities.
It is necessary to make the most of opportunities that one comes across in business. And it does not matter if it is an easy task or a difficult one. You never know when the next chance will materialize.
So, it makes sense to capitalize on the current opportunities. This makes it essential that you use your judgment and decide on the best course of action.
The Low Hanging Fruit Matrix
Managing a team can be a tricky task. There are many things that need to be done. Sometimes, the team might know what to do while getting bombarded with work from all quarters. This is where prioritization comes in. It is essential to drive focus on the areas that bring results for a business.
The low-hanging fruit matrix helps you do just that. Now, let us look at each quadrant in this matrix and understand what they represent.
- Low Hanging Fruit: These are areas that yield immediate rewards with little effort.
- Cream of the Crop: This is the work that brings very high visibility with tremendous rewards. However, the tasks here take a substantial amount of your time and effort.
- Harmless Weeds: While the effort required here is minimal, the resulting yield is also minimal.
- Rotten Tomatoes: These strategies take up a lot of time and resources. However, they do not yield any rewards.
The Process of the Low-Hanging Fruit Matrix.
We will look at the detailed process to arrive at this matrix here.
An impartial and neutral supervisor is required to help teams come up with this matrix. This is because the matrix does not rely on data.
Firstly, the team must draft a list of all the projects that are in progress. Also, they can include any potential projects that will come up in the near future. Then, a number is assigned to each project.
Now create this matrix either on a piece of paper or a Powerpoint. Each project must get a place on the grid. Every person on the team should now grade the tasks based on effort and impact. If the team members are located in different places across the globe, this exercise can be carried out through video conferencing.
Once all the discussions are done, and the results are in, it is time to review. Now there could be certain anomalies. Some individuals could rate a task as – High impact, low effort. Another individual could rate the same task as – High impact, high effort. There needs to be an agreement amongst the team members regarding the ranking of the tasks.
Examples of Low Hanging Fruit in Business
Low-hanging fruit can be different things to different people depending on their line of business. For instance, for a marketer, former customers are a classic example of low-hanging fruit. Some other examples that fall under this category are the customers on the lookout for sales, offers, or discounts.
Now let us look at examples of low hanging fruit in Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
- Optimizing the meta-information: The keywords' position and their density play a key role in search engine indexing. This is especially true in the case of meta titles and meta descriptions.
- An easy to read URL structure: A URL structure without long numbers and special characters is user-friendly. Therefore it has a positive impact on the search engine rankings.
- Keyword analysis and improvement: You must always use keywords that your competition hardly uses. Also, be sure to include long-tail keywords to enhance your ranking.
Given below are some other ways to obtain low hanging fruit in business:
- Sending emails to older customers notifying them of new collections and product releases. Also, offer them special discounts.
- Providing customers with referral codes in exchange for a discount.
- Renewing contracts with existing customers.
- Contacting hot leads who are highly interested in making a purchase.
- Offering discounts to people who buy products in bulk.
- Sending reminders to customers who purchase the same products regularly.
How to Find Low Hanging Fruit for Your Business.
There are many ways to increase the chances of finding low-hanging fruit for your business. Let us look at some of those ways here:
Networking with industry peers: Meeting colleagues at industry events and conferences is a fantastic way to gather low-hanging fruit. You will learn a lot about the latest trends in the industry and best practices. Also, you may get to know about new ways to optimize costs and diverse streams of revenue for your business.
Brainstorm with employees: Your employees are a good source of information on how to get some quick wins. This will be beneficial to your business and boost your team's morale. Also, you can act on customer reviews and suggestions to identify any potential areas of growth.
Benefits of Low-Hanging Fruit.
So far, we have looked at what is low-hanging fruit. We have also seen when and how to look for low-hanging fruit in business. Now let us explore the advantages of pursuing low-hanging fruit.
Small successes make you feel happy. You get a sense that things are moving along. Also, every task gets you in touch with different teams within an organization. This helps you understand various facets of the business.
Regularly completing the small things properly will help you tackle more significant projects with enthusiasm. This is a great way to beat the Monday blues as well.
Start your week with a few small wins. You will definitely notice an uptick in your productivity for the rest of the week.
Completing the easy work first is mentally rewarding. Also, it provides for variety in your daily routine. Always looking to complete challenging tasks can leave you burnt out or drained.
However, switching between easy and challenging work is like a breath of fresh air. It contributes to your overall well-being and also helps you make progress on a day-to-day basis.
When you identify low-hanging fruit across different business areas, make it a point to share it with your team.
For instance, if you have a list of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) or repeat customers across different regions, ensure that the marketing teams have access to that data. This will enable you to build the culture of your team around shared success and celebrating each others’ contributions.
Reliable and assured success at work is a sure shot way to boost your confidence.
You might have had a tough day. There is no better way to remind yourself that you belong in the big league than to have a few quick wins under your belt. This is where a list of tasks that can be categorized as low hanging fruits comes in handy.
Also, it gives you a chance to go back to the drawing board and review the basics if needed.
Low-hanging fruit exists in all areas of business, and it comes in useful to learn the tricks of the trade. Also, l0w-hanging fruit helps you check off many tasks. This way, you can complete at least a part of your work if any of your significant projects hit a roadblock.
However, there is a significant flaw with the concept of low-hanging fruit. Whenever a new or unfamiliar task is described as low-hanging fruit, it will be perceived as something easy to complete. But if you are doing something for the first time, it may not be the case.
This brings two critical factors to light when deciding if something is low-hanging fruit or not. Depending on the individual's experience, what is low-hanging fruit to one person might not be the same to another.
Also, it teaches us that it is essential to recognize the work that the different teams put in. It is incredibly condescending to dismiss the work of other people as easy. However, that may not be the case, especially if you have never done it.
For instance, a social media manager's work is seen as ‘browsing Facebook or Instagram all day. This is in complete contrast to the different responsibilities that a social media manager handles to keep things under control. So, as a manager, it is up to you to use low-hanging fruit to bring out the best in your team.